How to Brine your Turkey

How to Brine your Turkey


  • 3L water
  • 200g sea salt
  • 200g sugar
  • 4 clementines – zest, juice and flesh
  • 8 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 6 shallots, cut in half
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 3 star anise¬†
  • Ice (to cool the brine)
Watch my Christmas Series on Youtube


The night before Christmas… when all through the house… not a creature was stirring… apart from you getting your turkey into the brine in preparation for Christmas dinner! I’ve brined my turkeys for 3 years now and I feel it adds load of moisture to your bird and also a great flavour.

1. Prepare the brine

Bring the water to the boil in a large pot and add the salts and sugar. Give this a few minutes to allow the salt and sugar to dissolve completely before adding the next ingredients. Add all the remaining ingredients with the exception of the ice and allow this to boil for 20 minutes.

2. Cool the brine

If you are preparing the brine on Christmas Eve to brine the turkey over night, you will need to cool it down before adding the turkey into it. The quickest way to do this is to add ice which will start to cool it down immediately. If you are preparing this a few days before you need it, allow it to cool naturally and keep it in the fridge.

3. Put the turkey in the brine

Place the turkey into a container that is big enough to hold the turkey and allow it to be fully submerged with the brine. This can be a large stock pot, briner bucket or simply a food safe plastic container. Pour the cooled brine into the container. You may need to add some extra water to ensure the entire bird is submerged in the brine.

The turkey should brine for at least 1 hour per pound weight. for an average 12-14 pound bird, an overnight soak should be enough. The turkey will need to stay refrigerated so place the container in the fridge or if the temperatures outside are cold enough, you can keep the container in a garage or shed providing it has a secure lid. 

On Christmas morning, remove the turkey from the brine and pat the skin dry with a paper towel before getting it ready for the BBQ.

A huge thank you to Hillstown Farm Shop for sponsoring this Christmas series. You can find out more about them and order their quality meat on their website – Click here to visit the Hillstown Farm Shop Website

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You can watch the step by step video for this recipe over on my YouTube channel where you can find all my tutorials, vlogs and recipes just like this one.

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